In the lead-up to Brighton & Hove Pride 2019 taking place this weekend, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) is finalising preparations at the station to help the city celebrate the event.
Brighton & Hove Pride attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK so the station and trains will be very busy. To help passengers with their onward journeys, a rainbow queuing system will be in place at the station throughout the weekend.
Working with the organisers, this has been extended beyond the station to direct passengers leaving the city into the correct queue before they get to the station. On the Saturday evening, passengers are advised to aim to be at the station for 23:00 as trains will be extremely busy.
The purple queue is for the West Coast, with services towards Hove, Worthing, Littlehampton and Southampton. The green queue will take passengers to the East Coast on trains towards Lewes, Eastbourne and Ashford International. The blue queue is for London-bound trains, with service toward Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Victoria and Bedford.
Passengers are also reminded that glass will not be permitted on the station; glass bins will be provided at the entrance.
As confirmed last month, GTR – which runs Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services out of Brighton – will operate an enhanced rail service including additional and longer trains across the weekend and trains running late into the night on Saturday evening to help visitors get home from the city.
Stuart Meek, Train Services Director at GTR, said: “We have been working on our plans for this weekend since the beginning of the year in collaboration with the Brighton & Hove Pride organisers, Sussex Police, Brighton & Hove City Council and other local partners. We are looking forward to celebrating this wonderful city event with our customers and staff.”
GTR’s LGBT+ network will be out in force on the day; the firm has a float in the parade for the first time and the station has been decorated to welcome customers as they enter Brighton. The operator earlier this month unveiled a special Pride ‘trainbow’ to mark the occasion, designed by apprentice Maggie Luckhurst in support of GTR’s active LGBT+ network.
Since officially launching on 18 July, the Thameslink Class 700 (unit 700155) has been delighting passengers and staff across the network, with hundreds of pictures shared on social media.
Paul Kemp, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Pride 2019, said: “Brighton & Hove Pride is an important event for our City with visitors coming in from across the UK & worldwide. We have been working closely with GTR and other partners on the new rainbow queuing system to help with the smooth egress of people leaving the City. We ask that people are patient and respectful of each other and staff who will be working hard to get everybody home safely. We are extremely heartened by the positive working partnership and support over Pride weekend and the enthusiasm from all at GTR.”